Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bethany on Transition

I can relate to this gal as she talks about Transition! When it hit me, I had no idea what was happening. Now I can laugh at how irrational I got. It really wasn't funny then.

Read her full post The Hardest Part of Labor. Here's an excerpt.

I sat on the toilet in our bathroom, holding onto my husband and drowning in sheer misery. This labor was too hard. I felt like I was about to die from pressure and pain. Or scream in frustration.

It wasn't this difficult last time, was it? I’m sure it wasn’t. Nothing could be as horrible as what I was going through at that moment. Nothing.

I looked up countless times to tell my husband that we were having no more kids. No more! I’d say. I am finished doing this! But the words never made it past my lips. Instead I thought it to myself, drowning in pain and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. This was one experience I couldn't escape. The baby was coming, whether I wanted her to or not.

Anyone else relating?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Birth is All of Me

Birth is whole. Body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Even if I pretend that giving birth is spiritually about the same as digesting dinner, my spirit and mind and heart will be affected.

So a wise approach is to prepare for birth not only physically by eating well and exercising, but also to prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

This may include intentionally forgiving after a vivid dream opens deep wounds. Or it can mean readying my mind by being knowledgeable about all birthing options.

During my first pregnancy I was strict with my diet, but understood little of emotional preparedness. This time I've slacked a little on eating, yet intentionally addressed some fears and unforgiveness.

Not only is this holistic awareness healthy, it's amazing. As a simple analogy - I can live though a beautiful spring day, or I can live a beautiful spring day.

My baby's coming one way or another. But the more alert I am along the journey, the more I experience - the more all of me experiences. I get to live not only pain, but also pleasure; not only fear, but also love; not only disappointment, but also joy.

I get to live wholly in the moment. The more I do, the more all of me benefits - the more my baby wholly benefits.

What helps you prepare for birth?

Want more info? Try Preparing for Birth with Yoga by Janet Balaskas or from a holistic doula. This post made me laugh and cry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jada's Story

Here are empowering words from a young mom. I've included the first few lines of her story. Please enjoy the full telling posted on Birth Without Fear.
A Mother Will Overcome {I Am Strong}by HEATHER CRESCIMANNO on OCTOBER 16, 2014
I am strong because I found out I was pregnant at 17, two months into a relationship, and decided then to keep the baby.
I am strong because I decided to end the relationship, because I wasn’t happy anymore.
I am strong because during my pregnancy, I went through the worst depression in my life a month before my son was born.

How did birth teach you that you're strong?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Natural View of Birth

Natural is not just a way to do birth - it is birth.

Birth is natural first. Thankfully, technology and skilled surgeons save lives, and they do it in unnatural ways. Even then, medical experts interact with something marvelously natural.

So whatever surprises labor brings, I can have a solid understanding of birth. I can keep a natural view, even during a c-section. A drug-free, vaginal delivery is rewarding, but a natural perspective is key to a satisfying experience.

Here's what a natural perspective gets:
1. My body instinctively grows, delivers, and nurtures my baby.
2. My baby instinctively participates in birth.
3. Birth involves interaction of body, mind, heart, and spirit - for mother and baby.

A natural method of delivery is not guaranteed. What I can do for sure is see my body and my baby as natural marvels. What amazes you about birth?

Want more info? Try Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin or from a delightful mom. 

I Find Natural Birth

I live in America. For birth, that pretty much means obstetrics - you know, check-ups with brisk nurses, check lists of procedures, and check-ins to sterile birthing rooms.

I understand this has been the norm, at least for our moms and grandmoms. So for about a century, birth has been the hospital's expertise.

A few brave souls haven't nodded numbly to the one-size-fits-all system. But now more than a few of us find empowering information at our fingertips.

A Google search connects me to a dozen resources to consider - not just one hurried obstetrician's answer.

For my first, I instinctively took full responsibility for my pregnancy. I wanted to know what I was doing and why. During initial check-ups with a hospital practice, some were courteous and some were rude.

Thanks to the internet and supportive friends, I learned enough to decline a litany of undesired ultrasounds and tests and to eventually seek out a birth center. There, a natural view of birth fully opened to me.

And I've been studying a natural perspective ever since. What about you? What resources have been helpful?

Want more info? Try Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper R. N. or which includes various birth stories.